Man seeks damages in Gayborhood assault

Man seeks damages in Gayborhood assault

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Samuel Sierra, a gay man assaulted in the Gayborhood almost three years ago, is seeking financial remuneration from his alleged assailants.

Sierra, 37, of Fishtown, was heading home after working as a doorman at Tabu Lounge and Sports Bar when he allegedly was assaulted by Aaron Gordon and Christopher Schmid.

The incident occurred on South 12th Street, near Chestnut, around 2:40 a.m. Dec. 27, 2014, according to court records.

Gordon subsequently was convicted of simple assault and sentenced to one year’s reporting probation but Schmid wasn’t criminally charged by local authorities.

According to court records, Sierra sustained severe head injuries during the assault, from which he continues to recover, and has incurred medical bills exceeding $217,000.

Gordon and Schmid are defendants in Sierra’s civil suit, filed in December in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court. 

Also named as a defendant is Yakitori Boy, a karaoke lounge in Chinatown that allegedly served Gordon and Schmid an excessive amount of alcohol prior to Sierra’s assault.

A jury trial tentatively is scheduled for 10 a.m. July 8, 2018, in Courtroom 480 of City Hall, with Common Pleas Judge Denis P. Cohen presiding.

An attorney for Schmid recently asked Cohen for permission to add Tabu as a defendant in the case, and Cohen granted the request.

According to Schmid’s attorney, Tabu allegedly served an excessive amount of alcohol to Sierra prior to the assault.

Jeffrey C. Sotland, co-owner of Tabu, said Tabu shouldn’t be a defendant in the case.

“Mr. Schmid and his attorney brought Tabu into this case, not Mr. Sierra,” Sotland said in an email. “The court papers allege no real theory of liability as to what Tabu did wrong. Why? Because there is no theory. The claim is absurd under both the law and the facts of the incident.”

Sotland added: “This is very simply a case of Mr. Schmid brutally beating a member of the Tabu family and a member of our LGBTQ community. And this claim by Mr. Schmid and his attorney is merely a continuation of that assault on Mr. Sierra and the LGBTQ community and an abuse of the legal process.”

None of the named parties’ attorneys would comment for this story.


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